Pennock says what you'd expect

In the trial of the Pennsylvania case where the idea of Intelligent Design being merely exposed to the students is being challenged, Robert Pennock testified that Intelligent Design fails to set forth a method. According to the AP Story:

The concept of "intelligent design" is a form of creationism and is not based on scientific method, a professor testified Wednesday in a trial over whether the idea should be exposed to public school students in science class.

Robert T. Pennock, a professor of science and philosophy at Michigan State University, testified on behalf of families who sued the Dover Area School District. He said supporters of intelligent design don't offer evidence to support their idea.

"As scientists go about their business, they follow a method," Pennock said. "Intelligent design wants to reject that and so it doesn't really fall within the purview of science."

Pennock, for those who have never heard of him, isn't a neutral player in this debate. The article fails to note that Pennock is the author of Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism, and the editor of Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives. He has already posted his Expert report in the case on the Internet. Consider his opening paragraph of his General Opinion:

In my considered opinion, allowing so-called intelligent design (ID) to be included as part of a science class would have the effect of introducing material that is not only unscientific, but is essentially religious in nature. Like other kinds of creationism, the ID movement rejects the scientific findings of evolution and posits instead creation by a supernatural entity. This is a truly radical proposition. To teach such a view, under whatever name, is not only to dismiss well-established scientific findings that are a fundamental part of biology in favor of an unsupported religious belief, but also to reject the very nature of science.

Rejects the very nature of science!?! Wow, I suppose Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, Copernicus and George Mendel would be somewhat surprised that they were rejecting the very nature of science given that they all believed in a designed universe. But thn, it comes as no surprise to anyone that he should make this claim -- it is part of his overall philosophy that ID is merely creationism. As shown in a review of his Tower of Babel book by Dennis White, "nothing that he wrote in Tower of Babel will have the ID folks 'shaking in their boots.'"

The fact that Pennock, an anti-ID mouthpiece, should testify in this way is not surprising or shocking in the least. It doesn't establish anything, but it is part of the case against the teaching of ID. If left unchallenged, it will be damaging, but I trust that the attorneys representing the state (assuming that they have done their job) will have their own experts lined up who will counter Pennock's assertions when it is their opportunity to present their case. We shall see.

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